The prestigious Smithsonian American Art Museum will host a six-month exhibit on "The Art of Video Games" beginning in March 2012, examining the interactive medium with the respect reserved for film, animation, and performances.

Unlike exhibits that present art inspired by video games, guest curator Chris Melissinos (chief evangelist and chief gaming officer at Sun Microsystems) and the Smithsonian hope to "examine comprehensively the evolution of video games themselves as an artistic medium".

"From the Atari VCS to the Playstation 3, The Art of Video Games will show the development of visual effects and aesthetics during four decades, the emergence of games as a means for storytelling, the influence of world events and popular culture on game development, and the impact that the games can have on society," explains the museum.

The exhibit will feature multimedia presentations with game footage, developer/artist video interviews, big prints of in-game screenshots, and historic consoles. Keeping with the video games's interactive appeal, the museum plans to have a selection of systems available for visitors to play and invites the public to choose what title they feel represent particular moments in the medium's overall timeline.

You can find more information on "The Art of Video Games", which runs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from March 16 to September 9th in 2012, on the museum's official site.

[Via Kotaku]